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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Three Farm-to-Table Restaurants in New York City That Go Beyond the Status Quo

By Erica Bender

Farm-to-table is a reasonably common concept that has gained popularity in recent years. It is praised for being a local, healthy and conscious way to eat, since the food is grown or raised on small farms and ranches. In addition, this method of eating creates a smaller carbon footprint, as the food requires less transportation, not to mention that the food served is fresher overall. Finding sustainable, eco-friendly places to eat might seem overwhelming in New York City, but we were impressed by these three small restaurants that go a step beyond the farm-to-table ideology. 

Olmsted, located in Prospect Heights, is owned by chef Greg Baxtrom. According to Cassandra Chamoun, vice president at Mona Creative, “Baxtrom offers a seasonal, vegetable-forward menu highlighting produce from the lush backyard garden, as well as local farmers.” Customers can find both produce and herbs in the garden at Olmsted, which is open for customers to sit in for a drink or bite to eat. Sustainability is at the heart of the food and drink menus. Baxtrom works with Olmsted’s head bartender, Andrew Zerrip, to create seasonal and locally derived cocktails using leftover food from the kitchen. Olmsted is unique in allowing Baxtrom to produce delicious food while limiting food waste and locally sourcing ingredients, which is an enormous accomplishment. 

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Blossom is a vegan restaurant group with two locations: the Upper West Side and Greenwich Village. Since 2005, Blossom has dedicated itself to creating animal-caring, health-conscious cuisine for food lovers everywhere—not just vegans. The fresh and organic ingredients that go into every dish are sourced from local farms and small distribution companies. There are no animal products served at Blossom, but that does not make the menu less enticing. From its nachos to its curried stuffed sweet potato to its chocolate ganache, Blossom expands the horizons of what’s possible without animal products. 

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Lighthouse is a homey restaurant located in Brooklyn dedicated to community, honesty and warmth. The sustainable practices at Lighthouse “are dictated by our commitment to care for the environment and people,” says co-owner Naama Tamir. Where the food comes from is especially important, she says, as that they buy mostly local and organic, grass-fed beef and free-range organic poultry and eggs, not to mention buying from seasonal growers in the area. The cleaning supplies are green, organic and sustainable as well. Lighthouse reduces as much waste as possible through “recycling, upcycling and diverting from landfill,” Tamir says. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, comprising 30 percent and 50 percent of the menu, respectively. Lighthouse has something for everyone looking for a delicious sustainable meal.

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The number of farm-to-table restaurants in New York City is increasing, making it easier for food lovers to find locally sourced dishes in order to reduce their carbon footprint while eating better. Olmsted, Blossom and Lighthouse go beyond the “farm-to-table” norm and have created an atmosphere and business that doesn’t revolve around food, but sustainable food that is delicious and ecologically friendly.

Erica Bender is a 17-year-old and part of our Teen Voices writers. She is currently finishing high school in Connecticut. She plans to study biology on a dual-degree track at Fordham University. She enjoys inspiring others to care about the environment through writing and advocacy and wants to ensure that wildlife and wild places are preserved for generations to come.

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